Mammoth’s Planning and Economic Development Commission will be discussing preliminary plans for a proposed amendment to the Old Mammoth Project on Thursday, July 30.
The Old Mammoth Project, which the PEDC approved in 2010, would replace the existing Sierra Nevada Resort, Rafters, and Red Lantern/Jimmy’s Taverna on the property between Old Mammoth Road and Laurel Mountain Road with the following:
Up to 488 hotel rooms, outdoor public plazas, a pool, an ice rink, a 17,000 square foot restaurant, 20,000 square feet of commercial/retail space, a 9,500 square foot conference space, a 4,500 square foot spa and wellness space, and a 619-space underground parking structure.
For those hoping the project’s ice rink could solve Mammoth’s Multi-Use Facility problems, this one would be much smaller: approximately 60 by 75, as opposed to the Town’s 200 by 85 feet.
As proposed in 2010, building heights would vary from 35-55 feet.
According to Senior Planner Jen Daugherty, Keyser Marston Associates (KMA) prepared a financial analysis for the Old Mammoth Project in 2009. KMA estimated total development costs at $204 million.
The PEDC will now be considering several proposed changes to the Old Mammoth Project before the applicant, Jim Demetriades, can submit a formal application that incorporates the Commission’s feedback.
The new Old Mammoth Project plans would increase the height of the building along Laurel Mountain Road from three to four floors (the current allowed height is three floors); add a fifth floor to the majority of the building facing Old Mammoth Road (the current allowed height is four floors), increase a portion of the building on the interior of the site to six floors (the current allowed height is five floors), and expand the footprint of the building, increasing residential and decreasing open areas and retail space.
At its tallest, the building would rise to about 65 feet, or 10 feet above the maximum height allowed in the north Old Mammoth area.
The new plans would also do away with eight units of on-site workforce housing, which is no longer required according to the Town policy as of this year.
Because of these proposed changes, another California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) would be required before the revised project could be reviewed and considered by the PEDC and Town Council.
On Thursday, the PEDC will be considering whether or not the proposed changes are consistent with the Town’s General Plan, or whether the Old Mammoth project would dominate the natural landscape, disturbing the viewshed with increased building height, and perhaps render plazas and sidewalks less inviting, given the expanded footprint of the building.
Daugherty said that the process for the amendment could take between six to 16 months. After that, the applicant would have to prepare and submit construction permits. Optimistically, she estimated the very earliest construction could start in Fall of 2016.
However, Demetriades could also apply for construction permits for the approved 2010 Old Mammoth Project anytime.
Demetriades told The Sheet this week that “To get something big done, to get to the next level … is going to require a lot of capital. We need a nice enough deal to interest a bank. We’re exploring our options as to what that would take.”